Simple things to remember

In spite of your best efforts, some things are just out of your control

That’s just 1 quote from 10 Simple Things to Remember.  I bought it Friday night in Georgetown during the holiday tree lighting.  It was supposed to be a gift, but I like it so much, I think i’ll keep it and replace it for the recipient 😉  It’s a really cute little inspirational book.  I think i’ll be using it a lot.

Speaking of inspiration, I stumbled across a new blog a few months ago and think I made myself a new friend.  I reached out to Lisa because she had a really inspirational story.  http://earlymorningrun.blogspot.com/  She is so positive, it’s really refreshing.  After trading a few emails with her, she made me really feel more at ease with all of the testing i’ve been going through.   I was desperate to find a runner who had something similar going on.  I’m not going to say that I have had anywhere near the same experience as her, but it was nice to talk to someone who could relate.  You better believe she’s in my Google reader now 🙂

To be honest, I haven’t thought much about White Rock this weekend, other than taking off of work and canceling my extra hotel.  I can’t control how i’m going to feel or the weather, so i’m going to try not to worry about it.   Haha, i’ll just pack half my closet. What is important is that I have fun with my mom and sister and celebrate their accomplishments.  My hope is we all cross the finish happy and healthy.

My labs came back today, inconclusive once again.  Monday-Wednesday I get to do a low-dose Dexamethasone suppression test.  One more thing that is out of my control.  I am hopeful this test will show something.

I’m off to focus on something that IS in my control, making Dan an awesome dinner and finishing our Christmas decor.  🙂

Recipe Review: Quinoa stuffed acorn squash

Easy vegetarian meal.  I made half the recipe, because I only had 1 squash and I knew Dan wouldn’t eat it.   Left out the beans, only because I forgot, it was good without, but would have added more protein.  I drizzled more EVOO over the top before serving, to get a serving of healthy oil.

Believe me, it’s way more tasty than my crummy cell phone photo would lead you to believe 😉

Quinoa-Stuffed Roasted Squash

makes:4 servings
2 medium acorn squash (about 1 1/2 lb each)
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed, well drained
1 cup vegetable broth 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (from 19-oz can),
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 15x10x1-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Cut each squash lengthwise in half; remove seeds and fibers. Cut 1/8-inch slice from bottom of each half so squash will sit flat in step 4. Place squash, cut sides down, in pan; bake 30 minutes. 
2. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat quinoa and broth to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
3. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions, garlic and sage in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are crisp-tender; remove from heat. Add cranberries; stir until coated. Stir in cooked quinoa and all remaining ingredients except parsley until blended.
4. Remove squash from oven; turn squash, cut sides up. Divide quinoa mixture evenly among squash halves, pressing down on filling to form slight mound over cavity. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 30 minutes longer or until squash is tender and filling is thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with parsley.

Nutritional Information
 
1 Serving: Calories 380 (Calories from Fat 90); Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 280mg; Total Carbohydrate 62g (Dietary Fiber 14g, Sugars 12g); Protein 8g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 30%; Vitamin C 25%; Calcium 15%; Iron 25%

Source:  Eat Better America

WW P+ as written:  9

Things that make me smile

Thanksgiving weekend edition 😉  Please excuse the cell phone photos, lol!

My top chef tending to the smoker on Thanksgiving.  One of the only times every year he’ll wake up that early or cook.  He makes the BEST turkey!

My kitty Missy.  Look at those “Puss in Boots” eyes.  Who can resist?

Leftovers made into turkey tacos.  Super easy, wish I had more leftovers!  Just chopped turkey, some Penzey’s Salsa seasoning, peppers and onions sauteed in EVOO, lettuce, tomato, and corn tortillas.

New recipe-quinoa stuffed acorn squash (recipe coming soon)

Finale of the holiday weekend.  School night sessions at Threadgill’s with Adam Hood on Sunday night

I’ve got a feelin

Ever get one of those weird feelings?  Like you know something has happened or is happening and you are completely out of the loop that it’s even going on?

Yeah, I  have one of those feelings.  Not even sure about what.  Just an uneasy, not good feeling 😦

Maybe the weather is screwing with my instincts.

Waiting game

My tests have been turned in to the lab. 3-night on Friday and the 24-hour on Monday.  Now it’s back to waiting.

Had a rheumotology appointment on Monday. I LOVED the Dr., he’s a distance runner. However, he doesn’t think he’ll need to see me again. He did say he’d keep an eye on my latest cortisol tests because he wants to see the results and see how they are going to proceed. If they don’t have any ideas, then he said he may submit me for some tests. But most of the initial tests he does, I’ve already had from my primary Dr.

I’ve been back in the gym more regularly with the strength training, but it’s SO hard.  My muscles cooperate a lot more with the running than they do with the strength training.  I had 2 decent sessions on Sunday and this morning.  Baby steps.

I’ve noticed increased size in my thighs, and not in a good way in the last 2 months 😦  This combined with the freak stretch marks not associated with weight gain is incredibly frustrating.  Just 1 more of my symptoms that bothers me on a daily basis.  I’ve been treating them for a few months with BioOil, but so far, no real improvement.  Before the summer, the only stretch marks I had were on my hips from when I was overweight.

Started working on the house and Thanksgiving prep on Sunday.  I’ve had zero gluten, since the beginning of the summer.  On Sunday, after i’d made the perfect pan of cornbread to put in the Bateman family dressing, something possessed me to have one 2×2 square.  Seriously, when I turned it out onto the cutting board, it was perfect in color, texture, and it smelled GOOD.   Bad bad idea.  I’ve been miserable ever since then.  I knew better and am paying the price 😦  Guess I was secretly hoping I wouldn’t react any more. 

I am really looking forward to the rest of this week.  It should certainly take my mind off the medicial stuff if I stay feeling good.  1 day of work left, then cleaning, cooking, and fun.  Oh yeah and some fun workouts and shopping with my mom (sister is out of state).  Maybe I can get the guys to walk over the holiday.  Nothing breaks my heart more than the 2 men I love the most, not taking care of themselves 😦  Believe me, that’s a whole blog series on it’s own.

Here’s to food, fitness, and fun!  And a few days away from work 🙂

Repeat

I had been feeling better for the most part (minus last Saturday).  This week was alright, then Friday, I felt horrible 😦  Not sure what triggered it, the only thing I could think of is that I was upset about my first visit with a new Dr, who replaced my favorite Dr who moved to Washington over the summer (not related to my diagnosis we’re working on).    She is nice, but nothing like him 😦 

Monday afternoon I got a call from the Endocrinologist’s office.  They were asking me to repeat my last 3 tests for cortisol (a 3 night, a blood, and a 24 hour)  Why?  Because 1 of the last tests which had 3 parts, 2 of them came back with results, 1 didn’t, so they couldn’t make a decision.  So that 3 part test was repeated and turned in to the lab yesterday.

The other test has to be done for 24 hours starting tomorrow morning.  That gets turned in Monday morning.  After that, blood work.

Then off to my 1st appointment with the Rheumotologist.  Hopefully he has some ideas.  I picked him specifically because he said he was a distance runner in his bio.  I figured at least we could connect through that and could give me some advice in that department and how it relates to my issues, because as of now, none of the Dr’s really could tell me anything about the workouts in confidence.

Speaking of workouts, I had a BODPOD done Friday morning.  As a suspected, I’ve lost muscle which is incredibly upsetting.  I just don’t have the stamina for weights on most days, but i’m going to keep trying.  I may have to approach the strength training in a different way.

Just trying to keep moving forward and being positive.  It’s hard, because I feel like I am running around in circles.  Hopefully between this batch of tests and throwing another specialist into the mix, i’ll be 1 step closer to figuring out what is wrong and how to fix it!

Things I like Thursday: healthy-living activity

My Brownie Girl Scouts are working on healthy-living activities with their family this week for their homework.  To help encourage them, I wrote them a letter with tips and ideas.

I also added a resource page for them to look at with their parents, here’s a snippet that may be useful for some readers:

Healthy-living/fun/service sources:
http://www.freefuninaustin.com/
http://www.austinkidsguide.com/
http://www.marathonkids.org/
http://littleaustinite.com/
http://healthydiningfinder.com

Upcoming Healthy-living activities:
Brown Santa Kids K
1K (0.62 mile) untimed fun run/walk starting at 10 AM
on Sunday December 11 at Travis County Expo Center . 
Also a 5K run/walk option at 8:15 am.  Benefits Travis
County Brown Santa, which benefits families in need at Christmas.
http://www.brownsanta.org/20115krun.html

*This event is the same time/day/place as the ARC Decker Challenge: 
 
Upcoming Service activity:
Chuy’s Children Giving to Children Parade.
Saturday November 26, State Capitol.  Bring a toy to donate.
Benefits Travis County Blue Santa.  Do some walking while downtown to make it a healthy-living activity too   http://www.chuysparade.com/

~~~

I can’t wait until our meeting on the 28th to see what kind of healthy-living activities they did with their family.  Whether it was trying new foods, trying new activity, less tv, more moving, teaching their family a new game, making better food and drink choices, etc. 

I’m doing the homework as well 🙂  I will start with Dan on Saturday and my mom and dad on Wednesday of next week.  I don’t have to do their homework activities, but I think it’s a good example to show them I am working on the same goals as them!

Mexican Food overload

Here’s the only photo of me running on Sunday.  My mom isn’t the best action photographer.  That’s me on the far left, running through the King William historic district of San Antonio.

And a photo of me in the flowers at Paloma Blanca during lunch.  Yeah, I ate Mexican food twice that day.  I’m never hungry after a race, but I knew I had to eat, so other than my post-race banana, I ate a fajita taco off of their celiac menu.

I found my new favorite soup, yes, it’s Mexican too.  Other than the chopping and cubing, it’s an easy recipe that doesn’t take too terribly long to make.  In fact, I made it Sunday night after my dinner date with Dan at Vivo which was followed by an exciting trip to the grocery store.  I actually branched out and tried something new at Vivo, which was a first (I used to always get chile enchiladas), this time I tried their fajitas, which were awesome.

I’m not going to say it’s an attractive looking dish (cell phone photo and office lighting don’t help either), but it’s very flavorful.

Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup)

20 oz chicken thighs cubed
1 small chopped onion
1 bag cabbage slaw
3-4 small  red potatoes, peeled and cubed (optional)
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed, minced
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can stewed tomatoes, undrained or fresh tomatoes, diced
48 oz chicken broth
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 TBL cumin
1 TBL chili powder
½ TBL smoked paprika
Crushed red pepper, to taste
White pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
1 cup rice, cooked (optional)
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped, stems removed
Lime wedges, avocado slices, to garnish

In a ramekin or small dish, make your spice blend. Start with about ½ – 1 TBL salt and add garlic powder (not garlic salt) and black, red and white peppers to your liking. Add cumin, chili powder and paprika. (adjust to your liking)

Season cubed chicken with a pinch or two of your seasoning blend- as desired.

In a bit of butter or oil, brown and cook chicken over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or stockpot until chicken is tender. Add onions and sauté lightly. Add a touch more fat if needed.

Add cabbage, potatoes (if using), zucchini, carrots, garlic and tomatoes and the remaining seasoning blend from the ramekin. Stir to coat all evenly and cover to sweat the veggies for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking/burning and add a touch of chicken broth if liquid from veggies is not sufficient. You don’t want to add too much or the veggies will boil and not sweat their flavors.

After 10-15 minutes, the veggies will have reduced by about half the volume. Add the remaining chicken broth, stir, add rice (if using), stir and cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.

Add cilantro during the last couple minutes of cooking. Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with avocado slices if desired.

*This can also be made with leftover chicken or turkey. Just add chicken after sauteeing/sweating veggies

I made this into 6 servings, 3 P+ each.  I skipped the potatoes and rice, but I think next time I make this, I may try one or the other.  Wonder how leftover Thanksgiving turkey would taste in it?

Race Report: RNR San Antonio

This was my 4th Rock and Roll San Antonio.  I ran the full the first 3 years.  Registered for the full a year ago, but opted late in the week to downgrade to the half.

After an emotional struggle with my decision, I woke up feeling ok with the choice I made on race morning.  I ate my mocha brownie oats, laced up my shoes, and drove through super thick fog to SA to be dropped at the start.

The start seemed easier to navigate this year, which was nice.  I went and dropped my bag after hitting the port-a-potty line.  I then set out to find AK, who I never spotted (apparently she moved to corral 1). 

RNR really needs to police those corrals a little better.  They really did the first 2 years.  I noticed before we started yesterday, there were people that should have been in corral 30 or further with no bib-change tags.  That’s a HUGE difference in pace.  I am glad none of them were in front of me.

The new start was nice, diverted us completely away from the train tracks and past SAFD command and station #1.  Loved seeing the firemen and EMTs cheering the runners with their cups of coffee in hand.

The on-course music was good, water stops were good, the congestion wasn’t bad on the course (but I started closer to the front than I ever have).  I drank at every single water station to be on the safe side.

I saw friends from Austin cheering at miles 0, 4, 9, and 13.  My parents were at mile 9.5 (dad didn’t want to break their Guenther House breakfast tradition).  I don’t think i’ve ever done a half with many people I knew cheering on the course, this was uplifting.   My parents said they were very worried about me, but after they saw me round the corner they were cheering at, they knew i’d be fine 🙂

I felt good the whole race.  Had to slow myself in the middle, because I was speeding up too much and I wasn’t sure what the weather was going to do.  I was dripping with sweat at mile 2, but it remained overcast until mile 10, when mother nature really turned up the heat.  When she turned it up, so did I (with caution).

I find it amusing that the Mission that is on the medal is one that the half marathoners don’t even run by on their course.  The only Mission on the half course is the Alamo.

What is more San Antonio than taking post-race photo in Bill Miller’s dining room?

I met my mom (who walked over from mile 9.5 to meet me after the finish) and my dad, who drove to pick us up there.  And yes, I had a tea.

We eventually went to Central Market to browse, then mapped a route for my mom to do her longest long run of the season next Saturday, then off to lunch.  Paloma Blanca, which is where we’ve gone every year after RNR SA, now it’s tradition 🙂  Mom says she wants to keep the tradition next year when it’s her decision where we eat.

I’m usually showered before lunch, but because I didn’t stay at a hotel, I had to settle for some wet wipes and changing in my car on IH-35 while my mom drove.  That was interesting, but I didn’t have a choice, my race clothes were sopping wet.

I’d have to say, this is one of the most enjoyable race days i’ve had (minus the weather).  I ran comfortable and happy most of the way.  I am not sure how I remained so calm and collected the whole time, after being stressed all week about having to downgrade.  I am content that I decided to run the half and I gave it my best effort.